Wednesday, April 07, 2010

India Trip

Norman took so many great pictures in India that it’s hard to choose just a few to show you here. But here’s an idea of what we saw on our trip.

This picture from Varanasi shows the temple grounds where Hindus burn their dead. Like other tourists, we watched some of the ceremonies from a boat in the Ganges. Most boats are small, with one man rowing and three passengers. But I saw some boatmen rowing up to fifteen people. They must be strong.

A little later in the evening you can see some of the boats and the lights along the shore.

Here are women getting ready to bathe in the Ganges. They wear their saris. The men strip to bathing trunks.

Not the usual view of the Taj Mahal. Instead, we’re across the river in a beautiful garden, early in the morning.

This truck driver’s got a problem. He’s transporting an elephant, but it won’t clear the overpass. I guess they had to unload her or go around.

Visitors to the Ranthambore Tiger Preserve. Sadly, we didn’t see any tigers. But when we arrived at the Ranthambore train station, there were special greeters wandering around–-black pigs. And as we headed for the parking lot, I saw a cow going into the waiting room.

This is one of the small towns we drove through on the road between Ranthambore and Jaipur. There were lots of camels pulling carts. Lots of dogs. Cows wandering at will. Trucks. Motor scooters. Total chaos.

And here I am with a snake charmer. I may be smiling, but I wasn’t too happy to be sitting a few feet from a cobra. Norman urged me onto the blanket, though.

Here I am with Norman riding an elephant at the Amber Fort in Jaipur. Remind me that I don’t have to do it again. Twice is definitely enough. (The first time was in Thailand.)

I like this girl because you can see her face painting.

One of the highlights of our trip was when Norman, Patricia Rosemoor and I had dinner with a family in Jaipur. Their extended family lived in one house, built around a lovely courtyard. The living room and dining room were open to the interior court. The house was on an ordinary street in the Pink City, but as soon as you walked up the alley and through their front door, you were in another world.

Five people on a motor scooter was not an unusual sight.

Lunch in the courtyard of a restaurant in Jodhpur. Again, you could never tell from the street what was hidden behind high walls.

On the road between Jodhpur and Udaipur. This was part of a Jain temple complex.

Our fabulous hotel in Udaipur. The Lake Palace, built on an island. Norman, Patricia and I ate dinner on the rooftop restaurant, where we could look across the water at the Maharajah's palace. The food was western-style, for a change. The service was excellent, and the view was spectacular. A very memorable evening.

Outside the hotel coffee shop after breakfast. India is a country of such contrasts. Luxury hotels and people sleeping on the streets

And here’s a road repair crew.

What a fantastic trip. I’d love to go back. I just wish India weren’t so far away.